Knowledge as a Competitive Advantage in Private Security: a Study in a Company in Santa Catarina, Brazil
the relevance of the communication-people relation in the organization and mutual responsibilities (see Mcelroy, 2003). The importance with respect to the support of an Information and Communication Technology structure (ICT) in the company and of knowledge management as a manner of managing intangible assets linked to human capital, is explicit in the statement by the Chairman: “Inserted into the GESOPER and SIGMA monitoring software, adopted by the more structured companies of the sector, there are information and various managerial reports to support the decision-making process”. The TecnDir, in turn, understands that the electronic systems, although limited, are essential for quick and appropriate decisions. Specifically, he asserts that “... the faster occurrences are addressed the greater is the possibility to solve the situation”. 5.3 Knowledge When asked about the communication that takes place in his segment, the Chairman was straightforward: “... it is one of the problems faced daily by our sector”. The respondent understands the importance of actions at that level and underlines their importance for the success of the company. Organizations can no longer spare investments in knowledge, although this is intangible (Cooper, 1999; Earl, 2001; O'leary; Studer, 2001; Smoliar, 2003). The interviewee argues that the organization of information and knowledge in the private security sector is a major challenge for companies in the sector. For Nonaka and Takeuchi (1997), knowledge is preceded by extensive formal and informal communication. The Chairman asserts that “as knowledge still does not have a large market appeal, few organizations invest in the area. And the return is not always easily measurable”. He continues, saying that PRI COMPANY makes investments in the organization of information, but that the transformation of this knowledge into a tangible return for the company does not yet occur entirely because “... knowledge of the area is restricted to events and courses, of a more formal nature, with few informal knowledge networks, whether electronic or face-to-face”. The respondent exemplified citing the events in the area. The TecnDir, in turn, argues about the future possibilities: “As people become acquainted with technology and systems for mobile devices, such as Android or iPad, they will be incresingly free to use and rely on social networks for knowledge sharing”. Here McElroy’s (2007) is cited to understand the context of knowledge situations: when people share common goals and the atmosphere is reliable, the obtaining of knowledge requires less effort. With respect to information management systems, ERP and human resources management systems are being used by some companies in the sector. But the great evolution, in his understanding, lies in the operational management software (GESOPER), which makes it possible to study services offered by the staff and the behavioral response by the consumer. It also allows recording the performance in various situations that may occur, later serving as a basis for decision making. In the view of the Chairman “... it is the tangibility of knowledge directed at needs and marketing actions”. The TecnDir adds asserting that the precise control of the occurrences is the key for customers to recognize the company with its required seriousness, “... valuing the brand”. For Acemoglu et al. (2007), information management tools focused on knowledge dissemination are indispensable to any organization, having the growth in the sector and the development of new markets as their goals.
JISTEM, Brazil Vol. 10, No.1, Jan/Apr 2013, pp. 21-40